Californian crossover rebels RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE released their
self-titled debut opus 30 years ago today. Thanks to the astounding anthemic
single Killing In The Name (more than 660 million streams on Spotify) the band
attracted millions of fans in no time, which benefited the sales of LP too.
Despite a long career with a couple of hiatuses (1991–2000, 2007–2011,
2019–present) RAFTM only recorded/issued 4 LPs.
The image on the cover was a crop of a notorious picture by photographer Malcolm Brownefeaturing the self-immolation of Thích Quảng Đức,
a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, in Saigon in 1963. He wanted to get attention
for President Ngô Đình Diệm’s oppressing of the Buddhist religion.
Pitchfork wrote: “Rage Against the Machine’s debut is a radical fistful of funk, rap, and rock. Through its power, it remains an essential call to activism and a necessary lesson on how to withstand the opposition. The speed with which Rage wrote and recorded its first screeds is paramount to understanding why, now a quarter-century after its release, Rage Against the Machine remains an essential call to activism and a necessary lesson on how to withstand the opposition. While taking on the most powerful institutions of consolidated American power, Rage Against the Machine were having the time of their lives. You can hear it in most every note. For millions, Rage Against the Machine helped shape a spirit of necessary and electric defiance, of yelling out loud and over and over, “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me.” May it remain relentless.” Full review here. Score 9/10.
Singles/clips: Killing In The Name / Bullet In The Head / Bombtrack
Two nights ago at the Rage Against The Machine concert in Toronto,
guitarist Tom Morello was unintentionally pushed down by a security
guard while chasing a fan who found, somehow, a way to invade the stage
when the band started their classic concert closer Killing In The Name.
“Hold up! Hold up!” screamed Zack de la Rocha and stopped the performance,
but Morello was back on his feet and on stage in no time, supported by cheers
from the crowd.
Zack then yelled “Don’t try that shit. We’re cool, we love y’all but don’t do that”
before re-starting the blistering finale.
The crashing in the name of‘ happens around the 1-minute mark
below, towards the left of the stage where Morello was situated.
The cover picture is by journalist/photographer Malcolm Browne. It shows the self-immolation of Thích Quảng Đức, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, in Saigon in 1963.
The monk was protesting President Ngô Đình Diệm‘s administration for oppressing
the Buddhist religion.
The LP’s artwork features a chimpanzee watching television in reference to Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Waters: “the ape is symbol for anyone who’s
been sitting with his mouth open in front of the network and cable news.”